Jeferson vs New England Revolution

Recap: KC sets record for unbeaten run


MLS Game #21
Saturday, July 30, 2011, 7:30 p.m. CT
LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Sunny, 90 degrees
Attendance: 17,418

Score:                                         1          2          F
Sporting Kansas City                0          1          1
New England Revolution         1          0          1      

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Seth Sinovic (Birahim Diop 88), Daneil Cyrus (Teal Bunbury 80), Matt Besler, Chance Myers; Julio Cesar (Omar Bravo 56), Roger Espinoza, Jéferson; Graham Zusi, C.J. Sapong, Kei Kamara

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Michael Harrington, Milos Stojcev, Soony Saad 

New England Revolution: Matt Reis; Kevin Alston (Ryan Guy 78), Franco Coria, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes; Shalrie Joseph©, Pat Phelan, Steven McCarthy (Kenny Mansally 34); Benny Feilhaber, Rajko Lekic, Zach Schilawski (Sainey Nyassi 72)

Subs not used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Ryan Cochrane, Zak Boggs, Diego Fagundez

Stats:                            SKC       NE
Shots                             21             7
Shots on Goal              3               3          
Saves                            2               2          
Fouls                            13            11       
Offside                          0               1
Corner Kicks                6               4          

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Kenny Mansally (Caution, Tactical Foul) 50
NE – Darrius Barnes (Caution, Reckless Tackle) 67
NE – Franco Coria (Caution, Reckless Tackle) 77
NE – A.J. Soares (Ejection, Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity) 82

Scoring Summary:
NE – Rajko Lekic 4 (Matt Reis 1) 38
SKC – Teal Bunbury 4 (unassisted) 89 

An 89th minute goal from substitute Teal Bunbury secured a 1-1 draw for Sporting Kansas City against the New England Revolution on Saturday night at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

With the draw, Sporting Kansas City set a new record for the longest unbeaten streak in club history, having not lost in thirteen straight league matches. The draw alsokeeps Sporting Kansas City unbeaten at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

Following a first meeting in league play that produced five goals, the two sides picked up right where they left off on Saturday with chances coming early and often in an eventful first half of play.

In just the first minute of Saturday’s match, a cross from the left from Graham Zusi bounced precariously in the New England area. Sporting Kansas City rookie forward C.J. Sapong attempted to play the ball, but the bounce fooled Sapong as theball skipped to Kei Kamara who was waiting at the back post. Kamara’sleft-footed effort sailed over the bar, however.

Five minutes later, Sporting Kansas City created another chance. After being released on an overlap run by Kamara, defender Chance Myers swung a low cross into the area for Sapong. Sapong took the pass first time, but his redirect attempt was wide of the near post.

In the 9th minute, New England earned their first chance of the match. Receiving the ball in midfield, Benny Feilhaber played a pass to Shalrie Joseph checking away from goal. Joseph played a quick one-two with forward Rejko Lekic to get in behind the Sporting Kansas City backline,  but the All-Star midfielder fired his effort wide.

Lekic was involved in the next chance for New England, holding the ball up effectively before laying off to Zack Schilawski who curled his shot just over the bar.

New England would break through for the first goal in the 38th minute. Taking a back pass in his own penalty area, Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis hit a long clearance downfield that bounced beyond the Sporting Kansas City defence and into the path of Lekic. With just Nielsen to beat, Lekic passed a calm finish into the bottom corner to put the Revolution up before the break.

Sporting Kansas City would earn the first chance after halftime in the 49th minute. Good work down the right flank from Kamara saw the forward play an outswinging cross into the Revolution penalty area. Reis attempted to come and clear the cross himself, but instead helped it on to Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic who was waiting at the back post. Sinovic took a touch to settle, but ultimately couldn’t keep his shot on target from a tight angle.

In the 66th minute, Reis came to the rescues for the Revolution. Following a corner kick, Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Jeferson hit a cross into the area. Defender Matt Besler flicked the ball into the path of Sapong, but Sapong’s effort was saved well by the Revolution goalkeeper.

Four minutes later, Sapong played provider, knocking a cross into the box that was headed just over by Kamara as the scores remained level. Just after that chance, Chance Myers nearly found Omar Bravo with a teasing cross to the back post, but Bravo couldn’t direct his header at goal.

In the 82nd minute, New England went down to ten men after A.J. Soares brought down Sapong outside of the area. Soares was the last man back for New England, leading referee Terry Vaughn to show a straight red card to the Revolution’s rookie defender.

Seven minutes later, Sporting Kansas City took advantage of the man advantage. Bunbury began the move, playing a one touch pass to Bravo who had let the initial pass toBunbury run through his legs. Bravo’s attempt to cut the ball back across the box was initially blocked, but made it’s way to Bunbury, who finished low to the far post past Reis to save a point for Sporting Kansas City.

Sporting Kansas City will continue MLS action on Wednesday, when the team hosts Real Salt Lake at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park at 7:30 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast live on KSMO. 

Fast Facts
   - Sporting Kansas City is now 6-6-9, having earned a total of 27 points in 2011.
   - Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten in 13 straight MLS matches.
   - With the draw, Sporting Kansas City’s 13-game unbeaten streak in MLS play is the second-longest in MLS this season, behind only the LA Galaxy, and is the longest in team history, surpassing a 12-game stretch to begin the 2000 MLS Cup season. The unbeaten streak is also tied for the seventh-longest in league history.
   - Bunbury’s 89th minute equalizer was Sporting Kansas City’s third game-tying goal that has occurred after the 85th minute in 2011. 
   - Sporting Kansas City have not lost an MLS match at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park since it’s opening on June 9th and stand 3-0-4 at their state-of-the-art home stadium in MLS play.
   - Saturday’s match was Sporting Kansas City’s second in a nine-game homestand, which is tied for the longest in MLS history along with the Chicago Fire in 2006. Sporting Kansas City began the season with their first 10 MLS matches on the road, a new MLS record.
   - With the draw, New England moves to 1-6-4 on the road in 2011.
   - Sporting Kansas City is 20-13-8 all-time against New England and 10-6-4 at home in the series.
   - Sporting Kansas City moved to 6-3-8 in all-Sporting blue uniforms this season in MLS play and is 4-0-6 when thetemperature is above 75 degrees at kickoff.
   - Sporting Kansas City recorded 21 shots on Saturday, second-highest on the season in league play.
   - Sporting Kansas City is 1-5-5 when conceding the first goal in 2011.
   - Sporting Kansas City is 0-2-5 when trailing at halftime this season.
   - New England has led at the break on four occasions during the 2011 season with a record of 1-0-3.
   - New England goalkeeper Matt Reis recorded the second assist of his career on Saturday. His last came on August 25, 2007.
   - Reis becomes the third goalkeeper to record an assist in MLS this season.
   - After a 90 minute performance, forward Kei Kamara surpassed 4,000 minutes played for Sporting Kansas City.
   - Manager Peter Vermes made two changes on Saturday from the starting line-up used in last week’s 4-2 win over Toronto FC. Defender Daneil Cyrus, midfielder Graham Zusi replaced AurelienCollin and Omar Bravo, respectively.
   - Bravo was not in the starting lineup for the first time this season when available.
   - The start for Cyrus was his first-ever in MLS. The defender made his competitive debut for Sporting Kansas City as a substitute in last week’s 4-2 win over Toronto FC.
   - Revolution defender Chris Tierney was unavailable due to suspension after being shown a red card in New England’s previous match, a 2-2 draw with Colorado on July 23rd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
   - Sapong played 90 minutes on Saturday and is the only Sporting Kansas City player to appear in all 21 MLS matches for the club this season.
   - Sporting Kansas City has lost once in the 14 MLS matches defender Chance Myers has started this season and stand 5-1-8 in games with the former 1st round draft pick in the starting lineup.
   - Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo and defender Matt Besler recently returned from the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, held on Wednesday, July 27th at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. against defending Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United. Bravo started and played 81 minutes in the match, while Besler played 14 minutes as a second half substitute.
   - The first 10,000 fans at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park received a Teal Bunbury bobblehead doll courtesy of Providence Medical Center.
   - LIVESTRONG hosted its first Community Night in the Victory Suite at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Representatives from each area hospital, cancer non-profit and oncology program met prior to the game to start a dialogue about how to address the needs of the cancer community in Kansas City.
   - The Sporting Kansas City U17 Juniors will play the Chicago Fire at 8:30 a.m. CT on Sunday at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas in the final game of the 2011 Generation adidas Cup. The U17's tied the San Jose Earthquakes 4-4 on Friday before prevailing 5-4 in six rounds of penalty kicks.
   - Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jon Kempin played the full 90 minutes in the United States Under-18 Men's National Team's 2-1 win over Georgia in the third place game of the 2011 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland on Friday.
   - KSMO-TV will air highlights and reaction from Saturday’s match on the station’s weekly 30-minute soccer show “Off the Pitch with Sporting Kansas City” on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. CT. 


Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the game…
I thought in the first half we didn’t play very well. What I would say though is second half we dominated in every category. The amount of chances that took place and I keep saying that the character we have to get back into the game is fantastic, I’m just a little disappointed in the first half. I’m very, very happy, but more importantly, I’m happy for Teal (Bunbury) for getting the goal. The reason being, at times when you’re a player and you get out of form a bit, its all about how you work. He’s worked everyday, he works very hard. Putting him in the game at a moment like this when we needed to score, it’s not only great for him, it’s important for us to get the tie. For him to get the goal, with so much perseverance and work ethic, he deserved it and it was great for us.

On New England’s first-half goal…
I really need to go and see it. In my opinion, there’s a good chance when the ball was initially kicked in that he was offside. I mean, I was standing right there. Maybe I will see something different. I can’t remember so I can’t really talk about how spread out we were. I’ll have to see that on the tape.

On the team conceding first…
I say that I don’t think we played well in the first half. It doesn’t mean we should give away a soft goal so I have to look at it.

On the insertion of Omar Bravo in the second half…
I actually think all three subs had an impact on the game in a positive way.  What Omar does is makes those great plays from behind and he keeps the ball alive and makes crosses into the box. Allaround, he was very, very good.

On the team’s potent attack…
Obviously, Teal (Bunbury) getting the goal, he was pretty busy too keeping the ball alive for us. (Birahim) Diop has soft feet for a big guy. He wins balls back for us and he can really connect passes and serve the ball. I was wondering if he was going to take one of those long distance shots. But like I said, all three guys had a good impact.

On turning up the pressure in the second half…
At the end of the day, the team has character…We have to get stronger mentally, there’s no doubt we can play like that for 90 minutes…I don’t think we were aggressive enough all over the field, I think we gave them way too much time. We have to anticipate balls and we did that much better in the second half. Wegave them way too much time with the ball. I don’t care what team it is, they’re going to get opportunities then and play more on the ball. We just weren’t aggressive enough. In the second half we turned it around. Somehow we found a way and made some great chances.

On working way up the standings…
We continue to climb the ladder. Philadelphia lost last night, and now we get another point.  If you look back where we were and where we are, it’s a big difference. We’re in the hunt right now. We’re going to  keep going after it.

On the play of Daneil Cyrus…
One of my great coaches always said one player’s absence is another man’s opportunity. Now he’s got to step up and take advantage of the opportunity he has.

Sporting Kansas City striker Teal Bunbury

Thoughts on the team’s performance…
I thought for us, getting a tie after being down in the first half was important. In the first half there was some times we weren’t sharp, but as a team in the second half it was a different ball game. We were pressuring them and getting chances. It was just a matter of time.

On his goal…
I was lucky to get a scrappy goal. It feels good. I haven’t scored in a while, so to get the goal to get my team back in was great… Before the game, I was thinking when I get into the game I should try to get a scrappy goal. Omar got the touch to it, it bounced off the defender and I was the first one to react. I just wanted to keep it on frame and keep it low.

On the goal celebration…
I was planning it, I guess, with it being bobblehead night. Really, I was just trying to make it fun and entertaining. Fortunately for me, I was able to get the goal and celebrate like that.

On the frustration of not having scored lately…
It feels good to score. Like I said, a striker’s job is to score goals and I’m looking to score more and help contribute to my team. That’s what it comes down to. It’s not all about me and things like that. If I’m  scoring and we’re winning I’m happy, but if I’m scoring and we’re not winning, I’m not happy.

I feel like it’s only natural at times to get frustrated. I’m not doing my job when I’m capable of doing it. I’ve had support from the coaches, friends and family. Everyone’s being very positive with me.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi

Thoughts on the game…
During the past games we’ve put ourselves in a hole in the first half, and it’s taken us the rest of the game to dig out of it. If we can avoid that, we won’t be scrambling at the end of games. Teams get ahead, then kind of just pack it in, and that doesn’t let us play our game. We just need to try to avoid that at all costs. We can’t fall asleep in the first half like we have the past few times. That first goal was very important, so we just have to be stingy, especially in the first half.

Tactical changes in the second half…
We realized that they were playing kind of a high line, and in the first half we weren’t threatening at all. We weren’t getting behind their defense. Second half we focused quite a bit on making runs and getting behind their backline. We just started to threaten them more and I think we did that and we were able to come away with a goal late.

Comments on continuing the streak…
I think we need to come out extremely focused in the first half. It’s not a good habit to get into to go down a goal early. Honestly, it’s been an issue with us for a while now. We need to come out, realize we’re at home, and we need to take it to the opposing team, especially in the first half. We need to let them know it’s going to be a long game for them, so we can control the flow of the game.

Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler

Thoughts on the game…
First half we came out tentative, it wasn’t good enough. We gave them too much space and we just weren’t sharp. Second half we didn’t really have a choice. We had to step it up a little bit. So we came out more focused and just played better.

Comments on the All-Star Game experience…
Overall it was a great experience. I really enjoyed meeting my peers on a personal level. It was kind of different for me to see a different side of everyone. It was a great couple days, but I’m glad to be back and to be able to focus on the regular season.

Tactical changes in second half…
In the second half, we knew they were only going to have one guy up top. So, we didn’t need to have four defenders back on one guy. So, we pushed are two wide backs high, so we left our two center backs to cover the one guy. We just kind of pushed on them from there, so that was are main strategy.

New England Revolution Manager Steve Nicol

Thoughts on the game…
If you’re Kansas City, you probably deserve it in the second half. They definitely did. In the majority of the game, we defended well.

On the red card to A.J. Soares…
We lost a guy we shouldn’t have. He got the ball and the man at the same time.

On conceding a late goal…
The goal wasn’t from them cutting us up, the ball ricocheted over the top. There were three or four guys calling for a hand ball. Three  guys don’t put their hands up unless something’s up. We’re disappointed, but they put a lot of pressure in the second half. They probably deserved a point.

On second half adjustments…
They’re down, they’re gonna push forward. If you follow the x’s and o’s, they got behind us twice in the second half. I thought we defended well.

On New England’s approach to Sporting Kansas City’s attack…
It’s a fight, be strong, stand your ground, make challenges.

On going unbeaten in their three-game road trip…
Points. We’ve worked hard all season, we haven’t gotten the results that we’ve wanted but the effort has always been the same.

Thoughts on LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…
I was very disappointed. What? I was joking, it’s fantastic. Great place to play the game, first class. Good crowd, good atmosphere. First class, it’sfantastic.

On Sporting Kansas City striker Omar Bravo…
Omar’s very experienced and he’s come a long way.

New England Revolution Forward Rajko Lekic

Thoughts on the game…
It’s disappointing when you get a goal scored that late against you in the game. But if you look at the game, they were pushing all second half, but we were letting them push, just standing there. We didn’t play well in the second half, but we also had a card against us, and three or four of the defenders were also calling for a hand ball on the goal, so I don’t know. In three or four days I think we’ll be okay with one point, but it’s tough now.

On scoring the game’s first goal…
He (Matt Reis) took a chance, so I took a chance…I got the ball and tried to take it with the first touch and put it in, and it went in.

On three straight road games without a loss…
We just talked about it with Benny (Feilhaber), it’s disappointing now but we played three away games and haven’t lost in three games now. And we just played against Kansas City who hasn’t lost in 13 games now, so this is a good point. It’s good, but we need three points now.

On the second half…
From the first or second minute, it went wrong and they pressured us and it was tough to play. We need work on all areas. We have to play like a team like we did in the first half.

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…
It’s beautiful. A beautiful crowd, nice pitch. It was just very nice to play here.

New England Revolution Goalkeeper Matt Reis

Thoughts on the game…
We were in a pretty decent position entering the second half, and in the second half we just failed to possess the ball. We gave them chance after chance after chance and with all their good attacking players, their bound to get something on us. They got their goal and tied it up.

On Sporting Kansas City’s goal…
(Omar) Bravo tried to play it in, it went into a couple of people, and somehow it popped out right to (Teal) Bunbury and he slotted it away. I think if you look at the replay, somehow the ball comes from the guy’s middle of his body and pops out to his right, right to Bunbury. Tough night for us, but hopefully we’ll get some luck down the line.

The mentality of the team…
We’ve struggled up to these last three games, getting points on the road. For us being down on the bottom of the Eastern Conference, we need to start playing better. We still aren’t where we need to be, and unfortunately for us, we’re losing players left and right, so it’s only going to get more difficult.

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…
It’s nice…The atmosphere is great and it’s a lot better than playing in a baseball park.